The New Normal: How Will COVID-19 Affect the Outdoor Lifestyle of Filipinos?

Filipinos are known to enjoy spending most of their time outside their homes, from going to work or running errands to traveling and spending time with nature.

As natural outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts, some of your favorite pastimes in the city may be going to the mall, having dinner with friends, or watching movies in the cinemas. If you zero in on rural activities, there’s hiking, road trips, and going to the beach to swim or surf.

All of this changed when the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020. The health crisis brought about a “new normal,” which most Filipinos are already living and experiencing today. However, this might last longer than you think—so, how else will the coronavirus affect the nation’s outdoor lifestyle?


What is the “new normal”?

The new normal pertains to how people are navigating life amid COVID-19. It involves a new way of thinking, doing, and practicing everyday tasks to ensure health and safety. Some of these include wearing masks and face shields, social distancing, staying at home, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of catching the disease.

How will the new normal change the way your customers behave? Find out below.


5 Changes in the Outdoor Lifestyle of Filipinos


1. Purposefulness and mindfulness when spending time outdoors

The beginning of quarantine saw strict quarantine measures limiting people to do essential movements only. However, as time went on, the lockdown rules relaxed, as there was a strong need for the economy to recuperate. This allowed most establishments to operate either with limited capacity or strong safety guidelines in place.

Filipinos who wish to go out during this time are more purposeful and mindful of their reasons for stepping out of the house. As cabin fever has reached its peak over the past few months, they now realize that it’s not feasible to stay at home all day, and they have to begin navigating life with the virus present. 

This means being more intentional, aware, and responsible with where they are going and what they are doing in a specific place.


2. Prioritize sanitation and other health measures in public places

Since many establishments like malls, banks, and even coffee shops require customers to wear face masks and shields, Filipinos are now more aware of sanitation measures more than ever. This includes constantly applying alcohol, avoiding touching the face, and wiping down common surfaces.

If your business doesn’t have any of these in place, you risk that people may feel wary of entering or transacting with you. That said, malls and other public places have adapted pretty well to the mandated rules. It’s easy to take inspiration from what others have done, from contact tracing and disinfection to making their trip outside safe and hassle-free.


3. Limited time in food establishments

Before, it wasn’t uncommon for Filipinos to stay in a coffee shop or restaurant the whole day working on tasks or catching up with friends. This is probably not going to happen again soon. Others may feel the need to leave as soon as they are done eating to lessen the time spent in an enclosed space or avoid contact with other people inside. 

While restaurants have already started operating with rules in place, some cannot accommodate the sheer number of people who want to dine in.

It is worth noting that people continue to patronize their favorite food shops via drive-through, curbside pickups, or takeout. It is also enough for them to visit selected restaurants to have the usual dining experience.


4. A controlled number of people inside the market

What used to be crowded spaces isn’t looking to be that way anymore—at least inside establishments that follow the rule. Many stores can only accept 30% of their standard capacity to make way for social distancing and proper ventilation. As a result, some shops have lines outside so they can wait for their turn. This may translate to longer wait times, but ultimately a safer outdoor experience.


5. Travel is also limited

Traveling these days is quite confusing, as cities and other destinations have differing requirements. As much as Filipinos would love to travel again, options are limited to domestic areas or somewhere nearby—anywhere far enough to take a break from the long hours at home. That said, people would still take any chance they could get to travel, as long as the place they are going to is safe.


Life Outdoors, Modified

Trends show that people still need to go out—whether it’s out of necessity or to relax. While there is still a lot of uncertainty about how long this pandemic will last, one thing is for sure: Filipinos are beginning to adapt. People will transition from being afraid of the virus to accepting the fact that they will inevitably have to live with it—along with being responsible and following safety measures, of course.

So, what impact does this have on your business? The value of out-of-home advertising is still there, as people need to go out. The increased awareness in their surroundings may lead them to be more observant and capture the messages you send through OOH media.

Don’t let your business get left behind. Quick Brown Fox has outdoor advertising specialists to help you with your next advertising campaign specifically focused on navigating the new normal. Contact us today, and let’s discuss it!


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